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Ngugi wa Thiong’o alive and well, hater announced his death

By Lucy Mwangi

A purported future issue of the Star newspaper is in ciruclation. The August 14, 2023 fake edition addresses Deputy President William Ruto as “President”, alleging that he has introduced a new tax. Our investigation reveals that it is a falsified front page of August 14, 2019 issue whose main headline and photo have been altered but other stories on the page are not. The newspaper in their original edition reported that Ruto’s allies had plotted to scuttle Uhuru-Raila referendum.

2. A Facebook post and quote bearing the Nation bradning and purporting to be from Kirinyaga Woman Representative Wangui Ngirici on her departure from the United Democratic Alliance is fake. The Observer team found out that the legislator is still in UDA and has been joining DP Ruto in his rallies. In a tweet on December 9, Ngirici asked her supporters to disregard the propaganda. The Nation, too, dismissed the piece, encouraging its readers to ignore it.

3. An image attached to a tweet purporting to depict a podium with the words ‘Azimio la Mmoja’ captioned is false. The image, which was shared on December 10, was captured during a live transmission by Citizen TV of the Azimio la Umoja national convention at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi by ODM leader Raila Odinga. The Azimio la Mmoja graphic is a distortion of Raila’s event.

4. On December 14, a press release circulated on social media claimed that Kenya Editors Guild president Churchill Otieno had resigned. The Kenya Editors’ Guild, however, flagged the letter in question as a fake in a tweet on the same day. Otieno stated that he had not issued such a statement.

5. An image of a Nzoia Sugar FC player that went viral on social media on December 14 with claims that he had been awarded a bag of sugar was misleading. In a Facebook post on December 16, sports journalist Cedrick Siambi clarified that the photo of the player was taken when he was unveiled at the club back in October, and the sugar he’s carrying was not a prize from the previous game.

6. A Google form asking applicants if they are interested in the IEBC’s phase clerks’ recruitment was not legitimate. A closer look reveals that the form includes instructions asking applicants to pay an ‘application fee’ of Sh350 to facilitate interviews. The commission declared that it has resumed constituency-based continuous voter registration and voter-roll revision for new registration and transfers. In a tweet posted on the IEBC’s official Twitter page on December 14, the commission dismissed the Google form, labeling it as fake.

7. A tweet on December 16 claiming that celebrated Kenyan author and academic Ngugi wa Thiongo had died were false. Some public personalities took to their platforms to express their condolences to the family. His son, Mukoma Wa Ngugi, took to twitter and clarified that he spoke with the writer and that his father was alive and doing well.

8. A Facebook post claiming that United Democtaric Alliance candidate Mutuku Daniel Kimuyu won the Mahoo ward by-election in Taita Taveta was fake. The Independence Electoral and Boundaries Commission declared Jubilee Party’s Donald Fundi the winner after he garnered 1,609 votes against UDA’s Daniel Kimuyu who got 1,358 votes.

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